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Riding up to Crawford Notch this morning to check
on the state-o-the-ice I thought to myself that it was time to
say goodbye to rock season. It was below freezing, snow was on
the ground and once I got above Bartlett there were a lot of flurries
obscuring everything. Yet here it is at noon in our Valley and
it's sunny and almost 40 in the shade. What's an ice climber to
Of course one thing you can do is to go rock climbing. Last Wednesday
Brad White and I got in a day's efforts on Humphrey's and this
Tuesday we did the same. It was a sunny day and from 10 until 2
it had to be at least 50 in the sun! Of course when the sun dipped
behind the clouds it quickly chilled off. There also was a ton
of water pouring off all the crags in the area. Cathedral has been
steadily turning more green with moss and Humphrey's as wet as
I can remember. You could even hear gurgling inside the cracks
and crevices as we climbed. Still it was a wonderful time to be
out, even if it were to be the last time. But you never know, do
It's hard to get excited about ice season when things are this
slow to get off the ground. Fortunately I've been able to grab
a few days here and there to keep my interest up, otherwise I'd
be a very frustrated puppy. You can only spend so much time sharpening
screws, tools and crampons before you just want to get out there & bash
There has been ice in the ravines consistently since the end of
October. Certainly not as much as we all would like, but not terrible.
People have been grabbing Pinnacle, Central and Odell's occasionally
for a while now. As usual, Tuckerman has had some early season
ice for several weeks that's attracted a number of intrepid individuals.
Ice has formed left of Left Gully and on the right side in the
obvious corner that has been fun to play on. I was in Tucks on
Saturday and the climbing was pretty reasonable. After a very cold
and windy Friday I was concerned that we would even be able to
make it to the headwall, but it turned into a very nice day. here
are a few shots you might like:
It poured rain on Sunday and I would have thought that the conditions
would have significantly deteriorated, however some friends went
up on Monday and said again it was reasonable. They climbed up
on the right, trended back left and up over the headwall to the
Alpine Garden and came down the Summer Lion's Head trail. The said
it was mixed ice and snow and fun, tho the Tucks trail was pretty
I know I keep harping on the state of the ravine trail, but it
has been as bad as I've ever seen it. As of Monday there was a
lot of ice above the dogleg, and even the rocks you can normally
hop on are covered with a film of verglass. It was quite hard to
walk on the side as you normally would as well. Be more cautions
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective March 6, 2014
While the ice is going through a bit of a change, what with the weather being so cold, it's still very good in most places. With the longer days and more intense sunlight we should start to see some refreshing going on, as soon as the temps moderate. Most climbs in the direct sun are starting to see a little water during the day, in spite of the cold. The stuff in the shade that's looking a bit beat up and that in the direct sun is a little pinky. That said, it looks as if this weekend things are going to moderate, so it should be a good one.
BTW I am aware that some of today's pix are of a decidedly poorer quality than we all are used to. This is because my main camera's battery pack died and I had to use my cell phone camera - sorry about that.
Mobile Version Of NEClimbs:
Up on one of the Mount Washington Valley's finest crags and want to know what that climb you're looking at is? Or maybe you're on your way up from Boston and want to check out the Ice Report for your upcoming weekend plans. Or more likely, you're at work just want to daydream about your next adventure. Well if you have a smart phone handy, you can get to NEClimbs from anywhere you have cell service. While it doesn't offer every single feature of the site and it's not an "app", in mobile form, it does do a whole lot and is very useful. Here is the live link to the mobile version of NEClimbs:
Check it out and if you have issues on your specific phone, please feel free to let me know.
NEClimbs & White Mountain Report On Facebook:
Join us and LIKE us on Facebook. I'll try and post some interesting pix every Thursday and the latest Ice Report in the season, tho certainly not the whole Report. Here's where you can check it out:
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire
I was once bouldering in solitude in the Needles, when a young female walked up and introduced herself and asked who I was. I told her and continued bouldering. She turned and walked away after a few minutes, saying over her shoulder: 'you can't be John Gill. He climbs much better than that'.
Climbing is a very dangerous sport. You can get hurt or even kill yourself. When you go climbing, you do so of your own free will. Everything on this site is to be taken with a grain of salt. Don't blame us if you get up some totally heinous route, in over your head and fall and hurt yourself.